There is now less than one week of campaigning remaining before the Scottish Independence Referendum, which takes place next Thursday, September 18.
The pro-union ‘no’ vote campaign is back in the lead this week after the latest opinion poll from pollsters YouGov put them at 52%, marginally ahead of the pro-independence ‘yes’ campaign.
The referendum question being asked is simply “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
After being ahead significantly since the outset of the independence campaign, the pro-union side was abruptly shocked last weekend when the pro-independence side took the lead based on an opinion poll result, also from YouGov, released on Saturday, September 6.
This forced the pro-union campaign into panic mode this week with the UK witnessing an unprecedented coordinated campaign between all the main political parties. who are pro-union, and a number of major UK companies to try to convince the Scottish electorate to stay in the United Kingdom.
Scotland’s financial sector became one of the main battlegrounds this week, with many Scottish headquartered banks and financial services companies first threatening to relocate their headquarters to London and then actually announcing that they will move south if the referendum outcome results in a ‘yes’ majority. The HQ move threats and announcements appeared to be part of an orchestrated corporate campaign run by the UK’s Treasury department and the Treasury did not deny this.
According to the banks, they are seeking to move because an independent Scotland would create too much economic, regulatory and financial risk and uncertainty for their headquarters to remain there.
Amongst the banks, two of the UK’s biggest banking institutions, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), and Lloyd’s led the charge. Crucially, since the RBS and Lloyds were both bailed out by the UK government during the financial crisis, the UK government is now a significant shareholder in both institutions, owning a whopping 80% of the RBS and 25% of Lloyds.
Millions left without money as RBS systems crash Up to 17.5 million RBS banking group customers were left without their money last night as the bank’s systems crashed.
By Hayley Dixon12:03AM GMT 07
The group, which owns Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest and the Bank of Ulster, apologised to its customers amid reports that they were unable to access their accounts or withdraw money.
The crash comes just months after a computer meltdown that left millions of customers unable to withdraw cash.
People claimed that they had been left stranded, hungry and embarrassed as they were unable to access their own money and had their cards declined.